Although we all give an iPad to our child or turn on the television in order to keep kids temporarily entertained during these long summer days, it is important to remember that screen time does not replace social interactions and other opportunities to learn through play. Screen time is inherent in our lives that have be become even more dependent on technology during the pandemic; the evolution of technology has made our lives easier and great innovations have come out of it. Whether you are using screen time to keep your child occupied while you complete a task or are using it to motivate your child to engage in an essential activity, it is important to remember that like most things in life, screen time is fine in moderation.
It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162591) to have no more than one hour a day of screen time on average throughout the week for children ages 2 to 5 years. Research shows that excessive screen time may disrupt important daily activities, such as sleep, play, education and social participation. The more time spent engaging with a screen, the less time is spent developing essential skills and bonding as a family.
Areas Impacted by Screen Time
- Motor Development
- Integration of Sensory Systems
- Fine Motor Skills
To make transitioning away from screen time easier, you can set expectations on the start and end time of when it occurs. Maintain some consistency on when your child can have screen time and opt for alternative activities not involving digital devices when possible. Below are some activities that can keep many children engaged.